Web design and development is no longer just about coding and making pretty looking websites. Although making a site look good is vital, there are so many more aspects and other things to consider alongside, such as KPI setting, tracking and the overall end goal for each site. What is the site for? What do you want your visitors to do when they get there? How do they go about doing that? Without knowing the answers to the above questions, your site will never truly delivery anything tangible… apart from looking nice.
3 SUPER important things to consider
As mentioned earlier, when designing and building a website the three most important things to consider are:
- “What do we want people to do on this site?”
- “How do we get the people we want to visit our site, to visit our site?”
- “How do we get them to do what we want them to do?”
If you can’t answer all three questions, you’re probably not ready to build a new website. Answer question 1 first, then when you have that answer, it should lead you onto the answers for questions 2 and 3.
How do you improve search engine visibility?
CONTENT. Content is king (or Queen) these days and all of the major search engines are far too sophisticated to be tricked into ranking for anything other than the best content per search query. That being said, it’s still important to target search queries with your content and make sure you get those keywords in all the right places. One of the simplest ways to make sure you’re doing this, is to install an SEO Plugin such as Yoast. This plugin will be your best pal when it comes to doing the leg work. It will check the content on each page automatically based upon the keyword you tell it to check for. It’ll check things like keyword density, alt attributes for images and the URL. It’s also important to ensure you’ve got a properly functioning XML Sitemap. Think of it as being an A to Z for Google and co to know exactly how they have to crawl your website, without it – there’s a good chance the wrong pages will start ranking in the search results… or worse yet, none of them will rank.
What about landing pages?
For those of you who’ve not heard of this before, this is a page within the website that serves as an entry point for a certain group of things (eg: products/services), this page would usually act as the face of a particular section of a website or be the honeypot for your content. Note: We call it a honeypot because it attracts visitors. These honeypot landing pages contain some beautifully optimized and enticing content and will usually have links or other CTA’s (call to actions) such as contact forms or products that point towards the main point of sale for that section of the site. Landing pages need to be concise, with minimal outbound links so people don’t get too distracted form what YOU want them to do. Put all of the above together and you’ve got yourself a pretty effective landing page/honeypot.
Mobile first or Mobile considered designs?
When it comes to today’s market you need to consider two BIG features of your site; mobile compatibility and technical design. Approx 60% of all internet usage in the UK is now done through mobile devices. When looking at your website, at first you may not see anything you need to change, however one visit to your website on a smartphone or on a tablet and that story could change quite a bit. Google now shows mobile responsive sites higher in search results than non-mobile optimized sites when the search is carried out on a mobile device. So with 50% of all searches performed on mobile devices, you could be massively missing out by not being “mobile friendly”
So how does all this increase the number of visitors?
As long as you’ve done your keyword research (where you find out what keywords people are searching to try and find websites like yours) then you’re on the right path. Combine that with great quality content, well optimised pages and a slick sitemap and internal linking structure… all built on a mobile friendly design… you are all set to receive a fair amount of traffic from the big players in search engine land. This then feeds on to “what do we want people to do on this site?” and “how do we get them to do what we want them to do?”
So, in short… Why won’t your business survive without a website?
Quite simply, you can’t NOT have a website these days. It’s not only a way of bringing in new business, but it’s a trust signal for potential customers/clients. The majority of B2B and B2C potential customers/clients now do due diligence that includes checking a company’s website before they formally contact them. Between 2 companies that both offer the same service or product for the same price, who do you think would get the sale out of the company with a simple but effective website and the company with no website? No brainer. How would these customers even find you in the first place?
It’s about more than just being found though, it is VITAL that when you’re found, your website does what you want it to do. Convert visitors into paying customers.
This article was written by website specialist, Danyo Borg, Director at CodeDen